Identification and prompt remedial procedures remain a source of worry in Indian households, where over 6.5 crore individuals suffer from partial or total hearing loss.
In India, the organised hearing aid sector sells 5 to 6 lakh units every year, which indicates that more than 99 percent of the population suffering from hearing loss is exposed to larger problems like as dementia, depression, and balance.
Mr Dave Fabry, Chief Innovation Officer, Starkey Hearing Technologies, says, “It takes anything between 4 to 6 years for a person suffering from hearing loss to go for professional help. Identification of the problem remains a problem worldwide. Untreated hearing loss triggers problems including cognitive disorders, dementia and depression besides others.”
“We are working with stakeholders including central and state governments, medical professionals and others to increase awareness towards the problem,” added Mr Akhil Chauhan, Managing Director, Starkey Hearing Technologies.
Speaking about the latest artificial technology ‘Evolv AI’, Chauhan says, “It will lay the groundwork for an entirely new hearing ecosystem that not only emphasizes the impact of hearing on overall health and wellness but also creates an effortless user experience.”
The new AI technology reduces noise by about 40 per cent, thereby significantly improving comfort and clarity.
“If hearing aid is used at an early stage in kids, it helps them achieve their full potential. Not using hearing aid in kids, people who actually need it – triggers problems including cognitive disorders, dementia, depression and issues related to low confidence,” says Fabry.
He added that hearing aids today can monitor physical activity and social engagement, automatically detect falls, and serve as an intelligent virtual assistant, in addition to improving speech intelligibility in quiet and noisy listening environments.
According to WHO, the major reason behind hearing loss and ear diseases is ear wax and non-infectious causes such as ageing and presbycusis. “The major causes of hearing loss and ear diseases in India have been listed by the WHO survey. Ear wax (15.9 per cent) was the most common cause of reversible hearing loss. Non-infectious causes such as aging and presbycusis are the next most common causes of auditory impairment in India (10.3 per cent).”